It may seem like simple logic that, if human numbers continue to grow rapidly, there will be a point where shortages of food, energy, and other natural resources will cause shortages, and a global collapse would occur. I wrote a post about this and our prospects for bailing ourselves out with technology back in 2012, titled “Can We Invent Our Way Out of the Population Explosion? Not the Way You’re Thinking“. Still and understandably, many people, including those in official roles with plenty of evidence before them, have consistently denied the risks and signs of future collapse, possibly due to the influence of corporate interests who feel that efforts to counter the situation could affect their profits. Now a NASA project report offers a highly credible wake-up call to governments, corporations and business – and consumers – to recognise that ‘business as usual’ cannot be sustained, and that policy and structural changes are required immediately. Here is a Guardian columnist’s analysis of the study.
I have long worried that measures such as conservation only prolong our period of runaway population growth and set us up for worse times than we can yet imagine. I am consoled that the situation is being studied and talked about in the media, however, as I hope that means more serious government efforts to turn things around, which should include a significant effort towards reducing birth rates and improving the economic and educational status of third world countries. WWW.populationconnection.org is the site for what’s left of the 1970’s group Zero Population Growth, which focuses fundraising and lobbying efforts against overpopulation on behalf of the American people and is one of the best non-corporate sources of information specific to the population explosion and its likely outcomes.
Preventing calamities from overpopulation will be the toughest challenge humanity has faced in its history, and will change our lives greatly and forever, but the alternatives of doing nothing or becoming mired in defensive corporate-driven political battles will only make our problems worse. The sooner governments recognize the importance of this problem the better we will survive the changes, but conservative forces, many driven by reactionary corporations and wealthy individuals insulated from the problems we are already experiencing, will fight for their own interests and harm the rest of us. This has been the case for the past century but the conflicts will become much more intense as food and resource shortages increase. The sooner we take action to curb birthrates and reduce the increasingly rapid draining of our resources, the better off we and our descendants will be.
As always I welcome your comments, and thanks for reading — Tim